so much to blog, so little time!

It seems like I have been so busy the last two days that I’ve barely had time to sit down, let alone blog.  Instead of trying to squeeze everything in, I’ll just share the highlights, some of which I’ll elaborate on later.

1) Meeting at Sweet Cakes Design:

I know that I already wrote a whole post about this but, I am just so excited about our cake and all of the flavors.  I also think the cake and mini cakes are going to be just gorgeous.  On top of that, Barb’s enthusiasm for the project and her job was totally infectious.  She made a career change late in life and seems so thrilled with it – definitely something to give some thought to.  What could I be doing that I really love?

2) Goat Cheese Salad

Vegetables have never really been my thing.  Growing up, I’d eat green beans, corn on the cob and baked carrots drowning in brown sugar.  Until maybe two years ago, this hadn’t really changed.  As I’ve gotten older and started to think more about what I’m putting into my body, I’ve opened up to more vegetables.  Salad was one of the harder additions to my diet and I still don’t love it.  First of all, I hate dressing.  Just don’t like any dressing that I’ve ever tried.  I like salad with fruit on it (and love fruit salad) but would rather be eating something else most of the time.  Yesterday for lunch, I found what might be the perfect salad.  It is spinach with carrots, cinnamon fuji apples, candied pecans and goat cheese.

I removed the sprouts and tomato.  This salad was so good that I saved my second half for lunch today.  I think the candied pecans really helped, they were awesome and countered the bitter taste of the spinach perfectly.

3) Wedding Shower

I had another wedding shower today with the aunts and cousins on my dad’s side.  It was really lovely but deserves a little more recognition so I’ll blog more later.  It’s always nice to get together outside of the major holidays and I am feeling very blessed and lucky to come from such a great family, we had a great time.

4) Another Etsy Arrival

When I got home from the shower a package was waiting for me.

I am such a sucker for package.  How adorable is this with that cute label and the blue striped twine?  Love it.

Inside the package from Silver Pencils was the hair flower that I’m going to wear at the reception.  Brandi makes such adorable and affordable hair accessories.  They’re simple and beautiful and I’m so excited to wear mine on our wedding.  She also has a great blog that you should check out.

Atlantic Pure Ivory Bridal Hair Flower

[picture from Silver Pencil’s Etsy site]

Isn’t she purdy?

 

That’s all for now.  This business has made me awful sleepy.  Todd and I are going to attempt to watch an episode of How I Met Your Mother.  Anyone want to takes bets on how many minutes it will take us to fall asleep?  My bet is 7 and a half.

Good night!

 

 

 

 

 

piece of cake

It’s no secret that the last few weeks before a wedding can be stressful. And yes, I’m feeling some of that bride-to-be stress, even a lot of it at times. But really, really…this wedding planning business is pretty awesome. (I want so badly to call it “a piece of cake”. Ok, can’t resist, here I go!) Some might even call it a piece of cake. (I hear you groaning, sorry.  And yes, I’m officially re-naming this post.  Everybody loves a little cheese, right?)

I’ve been meeting and setting more meetings with different vendors involved with our wedding and today I met with Barb from Sweet Cakes Design, our cake baker.  I must say, I’ve been looking forward to this meeting since I set it last month.  Barb is really warm and friendly and has been really open to make our wedding cake exactly what we want it to be.  She hasn’t said no to any of my crazy suggestions and now we’ve officially decided on some unique, off-menu combinations that I’m very excited about.

Like the rest of my wedding-related posts, I don’t want to give too much away.  I love talking about the wedding but I want our wedding to be really special so, I refuse to spill all about everything for now.  I am willing to share that we’re having both a tiered cake and mini cakes at the wedding.

The mini cakes were offered to me at the initial tasting and I fell in love.  They’re not cupcake just little, individual cakes and I am so excited about them.  Plus it means that instead of just one or two flavors of cake we get six…but I’ve said too much.

You’ll have to wait until after the wedding to hear what all of the flavors will be.  I can’t wait to taste them all!

P.S.  I’m watching Bravo’s new series “Pregnant in Heels” and Rosie Pope is kind of awesome.

What’s your favorite kind of cake?

Do you prefer cakes or cupcakes?

grapefruit yogurt bread

I made grapefruit yogurt bread tonight.  Todd picked up the ingredients I needed to make it a week ago but I haven’t had time to make it until today.  He’s out with a friend watching baseball which left me the house, and kitchen, to myself.  The recipe came from Picky Cook who got it from Smitten Kitchen who was inspired by one of Ina Garten’s recipes.  Phew, that was a mouthful!  With so many people making it, it has to be good right?  You’ll notice that they call it “grapefruit yogurt cake”, I didn’t notice that until I linked up the sites but still prefer to think of it as bread.  It sounds like more of a staple that way.

I’m excited about the baking adventure for several reasons.  1) It’s the first recipe on my blog made with grapefruit – which my blog is named for.  It’s about time, I’d say! 2) It’s the first recipe I’ve made that called for citrus zest since my brother gave me an awesome new zester for Christmas – we’d been struggle along with an old box grater.  I now know first hand that this zester is awesome.  Thanks for the awesome gift, Drew!  You’ve greatly improve my culinary capabilities and efficiency.  3) I really love having the house to myself.  I throw my laptop on the counter, read my recipes from the screen and jam to whatever comes up on iTunes.  Nothing like a Shakira – Damien Rice – Counting Crows – Girl Talk – Taylor Swift – Sigur Ros – Mumford and Sons – Rihanna – Sufjan Stevens medley while you’re baking!

I’ve made a grapefruit bread before, it was a Rachael Ray recipe and it turned out pretty well but a little dry so I’m excited so see how this stacks up.

I’m generally quite loyal to recipes, at least the first time I make them and this time was no different.  The only thing I changed was the fat content of the yogurt I used – the recipe called for full fat yogurt and Todd bought fat free, I don’t think it will make a huge different though.  And it’s lighter that way.  Now, on to the recipe!

Grapefruit Yogurt Bread

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
3 extra-large eggs
zest of two large grapefruits
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

for the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

Ingredients – check!

Look at what a great job that zester did!  The zester has a scoring tool and two garnish tools as well.  Naturally< I spent some time making grapefruit curlicues, color me impressed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease an 8.5″ x 4.25″ x 2.5″ loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, grapefruitzest and vanilla.

Slowly whisk together the dry and wet ingredients.  With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it is incorporated (I accidentally added the vegetable oil to the other wet ingredients but it seems to have turned out okay).  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the grapefruit juice and 1 T. sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear.  Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes the carefully place it on a baking rack over paper towel.  While the cake is still warm, make small holes in the top and pour the grapefruit-sugar mixture over the cake allowing it to soak in.  Cool.

For the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and grapefruit juice and pour over the cake.

My bread took over an hour to bake.  While I was waiting for it to cook through, I prepared the glaze and made myself a little dinner of pineapple, raspberry Activia yogurt and half of an English Muffin slathered with the chipotle cream cheese I bought this morning.

Now I’m just listening to Mumford and Sons and waiting for the bread to cool enough to glaze.  I’m so ready to try it!

– 10 minutes later –

Bread is done and glazed.  Look at this beauty!

And let me tell you, this bread is moist and wonderful.  I would highly recommend making this.

I’d say that my first grapefruit recipe on the site was a success!  Thanks to Kristin at Picky Cook for posting this wonderful recipe and to Deb at Smitten Kitchen for coming up with this awesome adaptation.  And to Drew, again, for the great zester.

What’s the best recipe you’ve borrowed lately?

What’s your favorite kitchen gadget?

 

 

no coffee at starbucks

We had tonight’s marriage mentoring session at a Starbucks.  Unlike everyone else, I don’t drink coffee.  I’ve tried.  But I just don’t like it.  Thankfully, Starbucks also carries my favorite beverage, tap water!  I couldn’t order just water so the only other option was to grab one of these tasty little morsels…

Yup, I was excited about my Birthday Cake Pop.

Really excited about it.

And it was really good.  Of course, I can never stop at one treat and my tiny cake-sicle didn’t quite fill me up so Todd and I split a slice of Iced Lemon Pound Cake too.  I promise, wedding diet, I’ll get to you soon.

Our mentoring session went well.  The topic of the day was basically family and we’re both lucky to come from really great families.  Lots of love over the generations and strong relationships that we’ve learned from.  Thanks Mom(s) and Dad(s) for making today’s session easy for us to work through!

The Office, Parks and Rec and 30 Rock are over so time to get off the couch.  I’m going to visit my sister in Chicago tomorrow and I need to go pack.  Oh, and I get to go to Hot Chocolate for dinner tomorrow night.  With a name like that, it has to be good!  Check out the dessert menu, it looks fantastic!  I’m already planning out my meal.  I can’t wait for this weekend, in addition to Hot Chocolate we’re planning on Fly Yoga at i.d. gym, meeting up with my parents who are coming down to celebrate my mom’s birthday (happy, happy!), Greek and Moroccan food and a little shopping for good measure.  Should be a really fun weekend, I can’t wait to get there!

Are you a coffee fan?

What would you suggest for a drink to get a non-coffee drinker to start drinking coffee?